Forest Farming & Permaculture: The demonstration garden

The Marshall Native Gardens: Forest Farm Permaculture Garden

Permaculture forest farming is an important approach to land use which mimics natural forest succession to produce diverse, useful yields such as food, medicine, charcoal, and building and craft materials which will be playing a significant role in the ability of our region and of the world to adapt as climate change, economic contraction, desertification and topsoil loss, population pressures and rapid spread of crop pathogens make conventional agriculture mostly obsolete in the next 30 years.

The MNGI “Forest Farm” polyculture garden is a small-scale demonstration of these techniques for landowners and farmers who are interested in learning about and implementing them on their own properties. It is hoped that this garden will also serve as a seed and cuttings source for local farmers.

Changes have occurred since the initial plan was first created and implemented in fall 2011. Subsequent years have included pruning, finessing of the water flow through the landscape via swales and water bars, new plantings of useful shrubs and groundcovers. Future plans include weaving living willow erosion barriers and innoculating mushroom patches and logs.

The next time you visit the library, take a walk through the forest farm demonstration area. Walk the paths and check out the interpretive signage. Learn about how the garden was designed to take into consideration the slope and drainage of the land.

Please drop us an email for more information and/or to volunteer to assist with this important demonstration garden.
                                                                                                                                                 -- Ed McNally
Check out the plants used   ... or will be used... in the forest farm project.